A Call to Action: Addressing The Ukraine and Ethiopia Wars

Dear Colleagues,

A group of concerned public health professionals has mobilized to raise awareness about and urge expedited advocacy action to end the Ukraine war and serve as a reminder of the ongoing Ethiopian war and the war crimes and crimes against humanity underway in that country since November 2020–in both armed conflicts leading to attacks on health facilities and healthcare and aid workers, numerous deaths, internal and external displacement, gender-based violence, and dire famine. We seek your assistance in advocating with your U.S. House and Senate representatives as described in the attached Call to Action containing action recommendations and related policies of APHA and the World Federation of Public Health Associations. In addition, attached are several recent UNICEF statements on Children in War, Lancet articles pertinent to extant conditions that justify concerted and collaborative action at this time, and a summary of a recent Medical University of South Carolina Symposium on war as a public health crisis with speakers’ abstracts covering wars in progress throughout the world.

BACKGROUND

A ‘team’ of individual American Public Health Association (APHA) members from the Global Maternal and Child Health Network and International Section, including  representing a wide range of public health, healthcare, human rights, law, ethics, peace building, higher education, research, public policy and international development professionals, seek your advocacy support to end the Russian Federation invasion of Ukraine and comparable war crimes and crimes against humanity in Ethiopia. We serve in a range of capacities in APHA Sections and similar professional/scientific associations. We contribute our voices and endorsement of recommendations stated herein as individual professionals, not as the official policy of those organizations for which we volunteer. We have drawn our actions, however, from consensus-derived, adopted APHA policies that speak to mitigating and addressing the cross-sectoral, public health manifestations of war.

Thank you in advance for the myriad of efforts underway by so many, as well as for your support and advocacy actions to address the dire, man-made armed conflict circumstances facing innocent children, women, vulnerable populations, and all the people standing up to those conducting destructive attacks for immoral and inhumane purposes.

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